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New Jersey's Original Alt-Weekly

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    Asbury Park’s own Little Dickman Records is back with another brand new group and a record to match their proverbial mouth. Little Dickman has continued to be the frontrunner of bringing new music to the traditionally slanted area since their inception. Big on new sounds and young bands, they focus all their energy on directing attention to the real sounds of the Jersey Shore. Like many of us, they refuse to kowtow to glory days names who haven’t done a damned thing for the music scene in a very long time.

    Their latest group to make a big splash is …


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    Doug Zambon and his crew have graced this page in the past. I reviewed their 2014 release, Stuck In New York City, which was produced by Stacy O’Dell, as well as their 2015 release, Jumping At Shadows, and was quite impressed with the recordings and their overall sound, arrangement prowess and compositional capabilities. Jumping At Shadows was the first Pete Steinkopf-produced project, and that union has taken the band to many high places, and they continue to draw new fans and reviews while playing all over the Tri-State Area and beyond.

    Their Facebook page describes their passion for …


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    It’s festival time in New Jersey, so let’s get right into the action, folks!

     

    Asbury Park Surf Music Festival – Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016 – 12 p.m. – Rain Or Shine – The Anchor’s Bend & Grand Arcade At Convention Hall

    The Asbury Park Surf Music Festival has found its new beachfront home for 2016 at The Anchor’s Bend & Grand Arcade at Convention Hall. Festival organizers—husband and wife team, Vincent Minervino and Magdalena O’Connell—are inspired by the great surf music events from around the world. Their goal is to bring friends and families together each summer for a day …


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    Darlene Love returns to the historic Paramount Theater on Saturday, Aug. 27. Love’s summer performance in Asbury Park is quickly becoming a yearly tradition. Last year’s show celebrating the release of her new CD, which had Love performing alongside the album’s producer, Steven Van Zandt, was one for the music history books. Love’s relationship with Asbury Park led her to film a video that featured her cruising around town with Joan Jett & Paul Shaffer, cumulating with a performance of “Forbidden Nights” on the sand with a beach full of fans.

    Since the early ’60s, as part of Phil Spector’s …


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    Val Emmich has been writing and performing for several years now. I remember his early work starting with Slow Down Kid back in 2003, which was the disc that started me down what was to be a long and intriguing road of musical expression. Emmich has always trusted his creative impulses over commercial aspirations, turning down major label intoxication for the simple act of doing things his diverse way.

    2006 brought us Sunlight Searchparty, one of Emmich’s best records and certainly one of his most popular to date. But even after the artistic success of that homegrown disc, Emmich …


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    In September 2008, Keith Monacchio, formally of the bands The Commons and The Semibeings, officially launched a standalone career.

    The Long Evening, his first solo record, was released in 2010 to stellar reviews (especially here at The Aquarian) and the album ended up on several year-end “Best Of” lists. Not only did it come in at number 12 in the best release of the decade in Gary Wien’s book, Are You Listening? The Top 100 Albums of 2001-2010 by New Jersey Artists, but it was also praised by established music writers throughout the Tri-State Area.

    In 2012, …


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    Long Beach Island-based Double Negatives are a multi-genre band. The group says that genres and styles are simply what you take out of their music, whether it is the atmospheric psychedelia, the feel of the shaking garage door panels, or the inescapable urge to move to the music. Fueled by the love of creating not only music but art in general, this outfit looks out at the world and helps guide the audience into seeing what is out there.

    As the band’s bio states, “After the end of their last project in 2013 Mikey DiBernardo (drums), Dimitri Almeyda (bass), and …


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    Influenced by vinyl and cassette-era rock, Monmouth-based Iron Bridge Band bring together classic rock ‘n’ roll, fused with roots-rock and hints of a Southern soul by way of thoughtfully crafted songs, four-part vocal harmonies and reflective lyrics. The music is a considerably upbeat collaboration of edgy melodic guitar riffs, laden with fist-pumping, sing-along hooks, and melodic arrangements.

    Iron Bridge Band is a genuine band in every sense, and their music is a collaboration of authentic musicians who feel, groove and vibe. As the band’s bio states, “They bring intimacy and that intangible musical connection you can’t quantify with just pure …


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    Each decade gives us different styles and artistic levels of musical creation in New Jersey. The late ’90s and early 2000s were no exceptions. Many artists that we’ve come to know started back in those heady days of rock and roll celebration. Local heroes such as Last Perfect Thing, Rick Barry, Val Emmich, The Commons and Highway 9 all came from that timeline and sparked a whole new generation of rock, country, pop and blues in the Garden State. Another band that left its indelible mark on the scene was Days Awake. Formed in 2003 and comprised of original members …


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    BlowUpRadio.com, where NJ rock lives, once again brings together some of the best local indie musicians for the 10th annual Banding Together: Benefit For The Spondylitis Association Of America.

    This year Banding Together will feature five concerts happening on four Saturdays in October, with all money raised going directly to the Spondylitis Association Of America to fund research and provide the programs and services the spondylitis community has come to rely on.

    Spondylitis is a genetic rheumatoid arthritic condition that causes inflammation and fusion in the vertebrae of the spine. To date, BlowUpRadio.com has raised thousands of dollars for the …


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    Pat Schiavino has been at the center of this fantastic festival for eight years now. Starting from humble beginnings on Cookman Avenue back in 2009, Schiavino and his cohorts have turned a street-wide get together into a town-wide celebration of music and business that rivals anything else available. Smart business planning, pure hustle, and muscle have made this little daylong tryst into a serious musical contender.

    The eighth edition of Asbury Underground returns to the streets of Downtown Asbury Park this weekend of October 15 and 16, featuring approximately 100 musicians, 50 visual artists, as well as a three-hour spoken …


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    Rick Barry has been at the forefront of the music scene ever since he released Small Town Politics back in 2005. He followed that debut with substantial efforts such as Declaration Of Codependence in 2007 and This Antediluvian World in 2009. He followed that up with 2013’s emotional Postdiluvian World.

    If there’s one thing I can say about Rick Barry, it’s that he doesn’t give up no matter what the situation becomes. Music has always been in his blood and dominated his immediate life. Many others from the same period have disbanded, moved on with other responsibilities or goals, …


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    The gang from Little Dickman Records are back with another great New Jersey find. The RocknRoll HiFives are a family band, founded in 2005 by Joe Centeno (of Maxwell’s-era New Jersey band, Plug Spark Sanjay) and his daughter, frontwoman/lyricist, Eilee, then three. “We wanted to have fun, play rock ‘n’ roll and do what we want,” says drummer Evren, the youngest. Their mom Gloree, a technology executive with no prior musical experience, adds, “I never dreamed that I would be playing bass in a band with my family and touring in an RV.”

    I guess the story started with leader …


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    Grin & Bear is a four-piece alt-rock band born on the New Jersey coast and raised in the Central Jersey basement scene. Led by the conversational songwriting of frontman Brian Perrino, Grin & Bear pulls influence from artists such as Kevin Devine, Car Seat Headrest, Modest Mouse and Pedro The Lion. The band’s songs are often structurally unpredictable, rhythmically driven and lyrically forward.

    After putting out a release with Drew Villafuerte, formerly of The Front Bottoms, and self-recording their 2015 LP, Range Wars, Grin & Bear took a new approach for their new disc, Everything Is Gravy, by …


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    A native of East Brunswick, NJ, Dave Vargo started playing the guitar at the age of eight and by the age of 14 was performing throughout the Tri-State Area with various jazz, funk, and rock bands. He graduated from Berklee College of Music with honors and went on to become a touring sideman and session player. He has had the privilege of working with some notable talents including Whitney Houston, Phoebe Snow, Vonda Shepard, and Rupert Holmes.

    Dave currently performs both solo and as part of an acoustic duo (Kim and Dave). He is also an active session player and …


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    Dentist is back with another outstanding record born of Jersey blood, sweat, and tears. Dentist comes from the oceanfront urban landscape of Asbury Park, New Jersey. Their sound combines the freedom of the beach atmosphere and the urgency of the city into a fuzzed out, surf punk-tinged brand of indie pop with hooks and infectious melodies to spare. The ethereal vocals of Emily Bornemann are countered by the sometimes aggressive, but always addictive sounds of the rest of the band. In addition to Emily on rhythm guitar, those sounds are generated by Justin Bornemann (guitar), Nick Kaelblein (bass), and Rudy …


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    Three-Story Creative Complex Hosts Family Event With Live Performances, One-Day Sales, Exclusive Tours, And More

    Jon Leidersdorff has always held a vision for an expansive presence in Asbury Park. When he started with the original Lakehouse back in 2013, he strived for community involvement and a family-oriented vibe in his little area of town. That goal has been met many times over throughout the last few years and between the studio, the academy and the host of businesses in the building (Russo’s Music, Bands On A Budget, Cowerks and several others) he has done quite well in his visionary quest …


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    Arlan Feiles And The Broken Hearted – Live From The Strand Theater, Lakewood, NJ

    Arlan Feiles has steadily built his following and sound over the past several years. Arlan Feiles is an award-winning singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and music producer. Discovered and mentored by the late great Rock and Roll Hall of Fame record producer Tom Dowd, Arlan has gone on to record several highly-acclaimed records and has his music heard on many TV programs and movies, including the Academy Award-winning film the Dallas Buyers Club. Arlan is equally known for his efforts supporting voting and civil rights.

    Feiles’ …


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    Little Dickman honcho Chris Yaniak recently sent me press information on this next group that sets high on his label roster. Hailing from Long Island, New York, Davey Jones created Lost Boy ? as a bedroom four-track experimental pop recording project, self-releasing a number of LPs, EPs, and singles the past half-dozen years. Davey’s first official EP, USA USA, was released in 2011 on Old Flame Records.

    A series of home demos, live CD-Rs and cassettes followed between 2011 to 2014. Exploding In Sound released the Wasted EP in the spring of 2015, and Canned was published in March …


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    Chris Brown has been one of my favorite Asbury artists ever since he sent me his 2014 release, Anchor. Brown has also kept a solid work relationship with Bouncing Souls member Pete Steinkopf from that time and into his present release of One More Night, and it’s a relationship that has yielded excellent results. One More Night also includes a plethora of well-known locals such as Charlie Brown, Pete Steinkopf, Eric Cooper, Alex Iannone, Howie Cohen, Zack Moyle, Shane Mazekian, Jed Plate and several others that brought their A game to One More Night.

    When it comes …


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